Friday, December 7, 2012


For most of my life, I’ve been intimidated by tools. Couldn't really drive a nail straight, didn't do well with measuring – that sort of thing.

This is changing – due in part, I think, to a new-found interest in bike mechanics. But I am not merely losing my intimidation of tools; I am getting interested in them, and in repairs.

Take the job at right. This is a clever little fix I learned from a guy in a hardware store. After years of loosening, the door to our laundry room finally came off its hinges. Stripped screw holes. What to do?

The hardware guy said to take ordinary tooth-picks and tap them into the stripped holes, along with lots of wood glue. Cram in as many as possible – round tooth-picks, not flat ones. Snip off the protruding bits. Let dry for twenty-four hours.

"It'll be like virgin wood," he said.

It wasn't quite that effective. But it worked very well indeed.

My growing interest in tools is quite the sea change. There is still a lot to learn, but I'm at the point where I'm welcoming household repairs. Small ones, mind you, like the toothpick affair. But I'm beginning to enjoy these little fixes, and appreciate a job well done.

The down side? I need more tools. Bike tools, in particular, like a cassette locking and a chain whip. Maybe Santa will read this.

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